“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 NLT
The other day at church, Pastor Doug noted the similarities between a person who’s just survived a zombie apocalypse with a person who has a new baby at home. If you are a parent, then you understand the humor. He went on to talk about how our kids demand everything: our time, our money, our energy, etc…
Now fast forward a few days, and I was on my hands and knees scrubbing chalk-paint out of my favorite Target rug because my daughter opened her new birthday present inside without asking. I wasn't even sure how to discipline her as I was experiencing such mixed emotions. Talk about what a humbling journey raising little ones is.
I see our walk with God so similarly. Have you ever seen the graphic that displays a life with God where the little stick figure appears to be on a rollercoaster ride, going up and down, and up and down? Peaks and valleys, friends. He never ever said it would be easy, but worth it? Yes!
In the same way of giving all of ourselves and pouring out everything we have for our kids, we should be living for God. Take up your cross and follow me, He instructs us. Die to yourself. Serve others. Be gracious. Be patient. As a mom of little ones, I feel that my children are the best teachers of this concept. I pour myself out, I'm challenged, and I'm strained. At times, all I can do is cry out to God because I’m empty.
But there are also those times…you know, the ones that nothing in the world measures up to. The times your child is hurt and hugging you so tight, you can almost taste their salty tears or the quiet evenings you're snuggled up together with a book, or the moment you see your child following through with something you've taught them.
Raising children is difficult. Following God is challenging. Both require sacrifice. Both empty us of ourselves. And both fill us up in ways nothing else can.
What if we give, and give, and give to God like we do our children? How fulfilling would that be?